Recently certified HVE level 3 (more information here), the Perlim-Meylim alliance - a structure marketing and producing Limousin PDO apples (the only region with this quality sign) - has decided to go even further in its commitment to biodiversity, by extending mechanical weeding to all its orchards.
"Meylim is the precursor in mechanical weeding for the alliance. Last year, 50% of the crops - 180 hectares - were grown without any herbicides, glyphosate or other active herbicidal substances. This year, we have decided to extend the zero herbicide to all the orchards of the Perlim-Meylim alliance, i.e. to 800 hectares," explains Jessica Roussel, Perlim's quality approach manager.
Several tons of herbicides saved
Although it is still too early to assess the impact on yield and biodiversity, the "zero-herbicide" policy that the alliance has been pursuing since this year on all its agricultural land is already saving several tons of herbicides. A significant impact on the preservation of water quality and the environment.
"Based on the experiment conducted on the 180 hectares of Meylim orchards last year, where we were doing two chemical weedings, four mechanical passages were necessary. However, it should be noted that these estimates may vary from year to year. Over seasons that are more complicated and wet than the one we had last year, we will be able to make five mechanical passages," explains Lionel Lassoureuille, the alliance's orchard technical director.
A willingness to share information and good practices
The alliance regularly organizes, in collaboration with the chambers of agriculture, technical demonstration days in the orchard where manufacturers are invited to present various tools for working the soil for mechanical weeding. "There is a real exchange between producers around, for example, the problems encountered with a particular tool and the solutions implemented," says Lionel.
For Jessica, the ban on chemical weed control comes from a real conviction: "This commitment is really in line with the continuity of our HVE level 3 certification. We wanted to go further in this process, in response to the government's action plan to ensure healthy and sustainable food for all, while preserving biodiversity. It is a real desire on our part to position ourselves as a pioneer in the agriculture of tomorrow.
For more information:
Les 4 Chemins, 19 130 Saint-Aulaire
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 25 25 29 37
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 25 25 29 45